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Discussion Main / MoralSociopathy

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Aug 31st 2018 at 11:40:31 AM •••

Yeah, uh ... the entire description of this trope is a ridiculous exaggeration of a term that isn't psychologically valid in the first place. "Sociopath" is a word thrown around to justify a character being Eeeeeeeeeevil without having to give them any definition.

There are two kinds of people that are referred to as "sociopaths."

The first kind are just ordinary people who don't feel empathy — specifically, they don't feel "affective empathy." Most people just kind of "know" how the people around them are feeling and sometimes get contagious emotional reactions. People without affective empathy don't. So they learn coping strategies and improve their cognitive empathy (i.e., they study someone's face, they listen carefully to what's being said and read between the lines, etc.) They're not evil, just sometimes Innocently Insensitive.

The other kind are people with antisocial personality disorder. They don't have a lack of empathy or morals or anything; what they lack is the capacity for remorse. As such, yeah, some of them can do pretty callous things, but if you were to ask them directly they'd say things like "It's a tough world out there" and "Nobody ever gave me a break" and "Handouts just make people weak."

Whether that qualifies as evil is a matter of opinion, but this trope is taking a Hollywood Freudian Excuse ("they act evil because they're crazy, a specific kind of crazy that makes them perfectly normal in every way except for being evil") and describing it as though it's Real Life. Which it is not. At all.

Jul 28th 2017 at 3:55:24 PM •••

Would omnicidal fallen angel be a good name for a subtrope of this?

Jul 10th 2015 at 6:10:18 AM •••

Does anyone think Ryoki Tachibana from Hot Gimmick fits this trope? The line about being able to like someone without actually caring about them instantly reminded me of him and how he relates to Hatsumi.

Dec 6th 2014 at 12:11:52 PM •••

Id very much like a source to the Real Life claims here.

Mar 4th 2012 at 9:34:40 PM •••

"We consider morality to be good". Doesn't that just mean "we consider goodness to be bad?"

What if we considered morality to be evil? Wouldn't we then be considering morality to be immoral? Or would we be considering good to be evil? And by extension would we be considering evil to be good?

Or am I giving you a headache yet?

Edited by jatay3
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